In 1892 Willie Park Jr. produced and marketed what has generally been acknowledged to be the first offset blade putter. A radical idea when introduced, the offset blade quickly garnered its share of believers and eventually became one of the most popular developments in the evolution of the putter.
In 1894, Park received a patent for his "wry-neck" design. The putter offered here is one of the early clubs produced under that patent. This putter was stamped "Park Special" in an oval on the toe and "Patent" across the back of the blade. The marks are now faint, the result of the head being cleaned with emory cloth back in the day, with some of the letters worn away. Even so, the club is clearly identifiable as one of Park's putters that changed the game.
Willie Park typically stamped the shafts of his club, but this 34 1/2" shaft is not stamped. The shaft diameter at the hosel is a teensy bit small, but the hosel pin is perfect, showing no signs of a reshaft. The auctioneer believes somebody other than Park shafted up this head. The varnished sheepskin grip appears original to the shaft.
The forged iron head has a stylish shape and strikes a handsome pose. Plus it was produced by the 1887 & 1889 British Open champ. Overall, this is a very nice club.
This club is shown top left in the accompanying group picture. For more info on Park and his famous putter, see TCA2 v1 p196-197